Menu Close

‘Too many strings attached’ in Citizen app investment offer: sources


Controversial community check out app Citizen rejected an investment decision supply from Andreessen Horowitz — and it might have been for the reason that the venture money big preferred far too considerably control more than the enterprise, The Article has acquired. 

Andreessen Horowitz — a legendary VC business identified for lucrative investments in corporations like Airbnb, Lyft, Coinbase and Slack — was in discussions with Citizen for the duration of the summer season of 2017 to invest in the company’s $12 million Collection A funding spherical, two individuals shut to Citizen informed The Post. 

But Citizen — which offers extra than 7 million consumers across 30 towns serious-time alerts about described emergencies — turned down Andreessen Horowitz and sooner or later replaced its spot in the spherical with an investment decision from rival enterprise money firm Sequoia Capital, the sources explained. 

Citizen bucked Andreessen Horowitz’s present in element for the reason that it would’ve presented the enterprise money business also substantially say in the company’s functions, according to an ex-personnel who worked at Citizen at the time.

“The discussion about the workplace was they didn’t want to get tied in,” mentioned the previous staff. “There have been too numerous strings attached.” 

Citizen’s leadership believed that other opportunity traders together with Sequoia would give far more overall flexibility to work nonetheless they observed match, the ex-worker extra. 

Screenshots of the Citizen app
Citizen gives extra than 7 million buyers throughout 30 metropolitan areas true-time alerts about reported emergencies.
by way of REUTERS

In an emailed statement to The Post, Citizen Andrew Frame CEO known as the ex-employee’s description of the Andreessen Horowitz negotiation “a patently wrong rumor.”

Andreessen Horowitz, which seldom talks to journalists, did not reply to multiple requests for comment. 

Outside the house oversight at Citizen might have been ready to aid the corporation greater avoid missteps as it has developed — and enable control Frame, who has created moves this yr that have alarmed both equally ex-Citizen employees and activists. 

Citizen founder and CEO Andrew Frame
Citizen founder and CEO Andrew Body has manufactured moves this 12 months that have alarmed the two ex-Citizen employees and activists. 

In a person these types of case in point, Citizen put out a $30,000 bounty for info major to the arrest of a male that Body thought experienced dedicated arson in Los Angeles this May.

“FIND THIS F—K,” Body urged Citizen employees in inside messages attained by Vice. “first name? What is it?! publish ALL information.”

“BREAKING Information. this man is the satan. get him.” Body extra. ”by midnight!@#! we detest this person. GET HIM.”

At Frame’s urging, Citizen staff invested hours sending out alerts that incorporated the man’s name and photograph to just about 850,000 consumers in Los Angeles.

But afterwards that night, police arrested a unique individual — and Frame located out that he experienced place the bounty on the head of an harmless male. 

An ex-worker who labored at Citizen in 2019 told The Publish that they experienced been properly trained to not discover men and women by pores and skin color or identify when sending out alerts as a result of the app in get to keep away from racial profiling or ruining the reputations of harmless people today.

The previous employee explained Frame’s selection to share these kinds of info about the supposed arsonist was “crazy” — and included the company’s ethical standards have “definitely dropped” in recent several years.

In a statement to The Submit, a Citizen spokesperson argued that the app has “helped plenty of persons escape burning buildings, rescue lacking children, and evacuate disaster locations.”

“During this incident in May perhaps, there was an active arsonist on the loose and several fires have been remaining ignited all in excess of Los Angeles,” the spokesperson said. “In the scenario of fires, seconds save life, so we determined to share what facts was offered to hundreds of 1000’s of nearby Citizen end users. Regretably, everyone had the details incorrect at that second, and it’s something we’ve realized from and labored on to update our insurance policies on how we validate information.”

Citizen also has taken flak from some activists for driving a Citizen-branded private security vehicle close to Los Angeles as portion a program for a “privatized secondary emergency reaction community,” in accordance to Vice. 

The previous personnel who had labored at Citizen in 2019 claimed they identified the company’s moves towards a “privatized stability situation” to be a disturbing deviation from what they saw as the company’s first mission of giving community basic safety details.


Supply hyperlink